He-Shed, She-shed, Me-Shed

By January 29, 2021 architecture, Life

Spotted Dog may need a new doghouse.

And no, I didn’t do anything wrong. James isn’t banishing me from the house. I’m just thinking the time may have come for a little more room to spread out.

To know an architect is to know our clutter. Any architect’s office that looks tidy when you visit is a lie. They’ve cleaned just for your visit. And it’s not just paper clutter. Every office – big or small – has a space that’s dedicated to catalogs and samples. One of the dreaded tasks at my first job was to re-shelve and organize the product catalogs, second only to sorting out sample materials.

While I have been able to avoid collecting too much over the last year, I did manage to pick up a few things. As I sit here at my desk, two paint sample kits and two boxes of soapstone samples are hassling me from the edge of my peripheral vision. Not to mention the bag of rejected tile samples that have fallen over at least once. I keep telling myself I’ll find them a home somewhere in here, but I think they know that’s not true. Just ask the tile samples that were banished to the garage.

More than once in this blog I’ve talked about the room at home that is currently my office – from when I first moved home a year ago (wow!) to my most recent post about rearranging the space once again to avoid the winter sun. (They’re called drapes, Larry.)

However, I can’t imagine being the only architect having a similar experience. While I moved home of my own volition last January, everyone wasn’t so lucky. One colleague had her entire office move home mid-March in a span of a few hours thanks to a panicky employee. But as companies, including architecture firms, discover that people can work from home, that temporary home office may become a permanent fixture.

Which brings us to a new doghouse. Or maybe a new she-shed for Cheryl.

There are plenty of companies who provide pre-fab buildings that would fit the bill of any architect. Which is good, because since March of last year they’ve been quite busy. One company reported a 400% increase in interest last summer. Another saw a 25% increase in sales. All good things, at least for the industry. Maybe not so much for you if your office is spilling into the hallway and they can’t get to your project for 12 weeks.

Of course, the thought of a new doghouse for Spotted Dog brings a whole host of questions. Where does it go in the backyard? How big? Do we add a deck while we’re at it? Will the city require a permit? (There goes 15 weeks!) And on and on and on.

Or maybe I just get creative with the space I have. I am an architect after all. And preferably before I do end up in the doghouse. Or with the banished tile samples in the garage.

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